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Food allergies forced woman to rethink recipes

Smart recipes improved her life.


Callie Bohachek, 26, knows a thing or two about food allergies. The Oakwood resident is allergic to soy, wheat and corn. She must avoid eggs, milk, yeast, coconut and glycerin, too.

That eliminates pizza, fast food french fries, some toothpaste, pasta, some meats, tortillas and any processed foods, among other things.

“My mom tells me that I used to get very bad headaches when I was young,” Bohachek said. “When I was in college I would get migraines two to three times a week. I was on medicine, but it didn’t help. I also had stomachaches all the time and was sleeping all the time. Doctors told me it was stress.”

She would nap about two hours every day, and began to wonder if her problem was food related.

“Popcorn especially was a trigger for the headaches, so I had an allergy test,” she said.

Bohachek got her results in July 2011, and had to make drastic changes.

“It completely changed how I eat,” she said. “I had to eliminate all eight of the things I am allergic to completely. For two weeks I had to eat one thing for each meal, so if I did feel sick I knew what it was from.”

She now must read labels thoroughly and prepares most of her own food, because eating out is a challenge. Mostly she misses cheese, but the change has been worthwhile.

“Life is completely different than what I was used to,” she said. “I hardly ever get headaches anymore. My stomachaches are nonexistent. I have so much more energy; I feel like I can do a lot more in life.”

According to her allergist, Dr. John Boyles, she may outgrow her allergies, but in the meantime Bohachek has worked hard to create tasty recipes.

“A lot of it is trial and error,” she said. “I have a love of baking, and typically you need flour and eggs. I found you can substitute egg with ground flaxseed.”

Other substitutes include rice milk or almond milk for cow’s milk, and all purpose gluten free flour for corn starch and wheat.

She also makes her own chili, taco and sloppy Joe seasonings, because premade packets have corn or wheat in it.

“I’m a regular person; I just have to death with this,” she said. “It’s a bump in the road. You’re constantly craving things. It’s incredibly hard, and if you stick with it you will feel better.”

Callie’s creations

Below are recipes re-made to accommodate food allergies:

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ready time: 25 minutes

Servings: 36 servings

Ingredients:

12 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 1/4 cups all purpose gluten free flour blend

2 tsp vanilla (make sure there is no alcohol in ingredients as it could be from wheat or corn)

2 tbsp ground flax meal plus 6 tbsp HOT water (mix and let stand for 10 min then add as egg replacement)

1/4 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 cups gluten free chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life brand

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In mixing bowl, cream together oil and sugar. Add egg replacement (flax meal and water mixture) in; then add vanilla.

3. In medium bowl, sift together gluten free flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.

4. Slowly add flour mixture in to oil mixture and mix until just combined.

5. Fold in chocolate chips by hand. Refrigerate prepared dough for 30 minutes prior to baking.

6. Drop by heaping teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.

7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Then let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes before moving to cooking rack.

SKYLINE CHILI COPYCAT RECIPE

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

2 tbsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. celery seed

1 dried bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups tomato sauce

1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 lb. dried spaghetti (I use DeBoles Rice pasta)

1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (optional for topping)

If you are not allergic to dairy, you can add cheese on top or there are dairy-free cheeses that are usually made from soy.

1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and half of the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add beef, chili powder, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cumin, oregano, nutmeg, celery seed, bay leaf, and salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Tilt pan and spoon out and discard any accumulated fat. Add tomato sauce, cocoa powder, and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, until somewhat thick, about 25 minutes.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes; drain. Put beans into a small pot and cook over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally until hot throughout. Divide spaghetti between 4 large bowls. Top with chili, cheese (optional), remaining onions, and beans.


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